US Job Openings Hit Two-Year Low
All three major indexes dropped following the release of data indicating that US job openings in February reached their lowest point in nearly two years. This suggests a cooling labor market, with factory orders falling for a second consecutive month.
Manufacturing Activity Weakening
Data from Monday also pointed to a decline in US manufacturing activity, further contributing to the market's unease.
Slow Hiring Raises Concerns
Sal Bruno, Chief Investment Officer at IndexIQ in New York, stated that the decrease in job openings had caused concerns about slow hiring, which could negatively impact the economy and fuel recession fears.
Bank Stocks Suffer from Ongoing Crisis
Bank stocks took a hit after JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jaime Dimon warned in a letter to shareholders that the US banking crisis would continue to affect the industry for years. Bank of America and Wells Fargo & Co dropped 2%, while the S&P 500 banks index fell 1.9%.
Industrials and Energy Lead to Decline
Seven of the 11 S&P 500 sector indexes declined, with industrials and energy suffering the most significant losses, down 2.25% and 1.72%, respectively.
Major Indexes Close Lower
The S&P 500 dropped 0.58% to 4,100.68 points, the Nasdaq fell 0.52% to 12,126.33 points, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.59% to 33,403.04 points.
Caterpillar and Nvidia Weigh on Market
Caterpillar Inc, an industrial sector bellwether, fell 5.4%. Chipmaker Nvidia also experienced a 1.8% loss, contributing heavily to the S&P 500's decline.
Healthcare and Utilities Gain Amid Slowdown
Healthcare and utilities, sectors expected to perform better during an economic slowdown, were among the few S&P 500 sector indexes to see gains on Tuesday.